Those of you who frequent Westfield at Pitt St Mall, be it to shop and blow out all your salary (aka me) or those who are there to enjoy the food, you probably have noticed Jones The Grocer. Sitting on Level 5 alongside the amazing food court, Jones The Grocer is a premium Australian gourmet food emporium that offers an exclusive range of private label branded gourmet products - think international artisan produced ingredients etc. Apart from it being a food store, it's also a restaurant/cafe that's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving a range of dishes that seems to merge Modern Australian cuisine with fushion influences. Oh and can I just say that the desserts here are an absolute killer?
I was invited to try out Jones The Grocer last week and it was definitely nice to finally walk into the restaurant. It had always looked lovely from the outside but it wasn't till we physically stepped inside the restaurant did we realise how spacious and modern the interiors were.
The splash of classic brown hues matched with the furniture and timber floor boards, which ensured a relaxing atmosphere that felt casual yet semi formal at the same time.
Even the drinks on offere here are unique and quite gourmet by nature. M was intriuged by his Organic Cola ($5.50), though he probably still prefers normal coke. My Parker's Organic Mango and Orange Sparkling ($5.50) was deliciously sweet, but tasted more like juice than sparkling.
My entree, Angel Hair Pasta with Blue Swimmer Crab, Chilli, Rocket, Garlic and Grana Padano ($19) was very unique and probably the first time I've tried angel hair pasta. It really is super thin and delicate, almost like the western version of vermicelli? The proportion size was crazy huge, definitely not your typical entree size so I wasn't able to finish it all. However I did manage to fish out all the crab meat because lets face it, you dont have to finish the dish but you've got to demolish the crab - which was sweet and juicy!
M's Salt & Pepper Squid, Yuzu Mayonnaise, Thai Herb Salad dressed with Tamarind, Chilli & Lime Sauce ($18) was also not your typical modern australian dish. As indicated by the name of the dish, the flavours of the seasoning has strong Thai influences and the Tamarind sauce is quite predominant throughout. The squid itself was fried beautifully to produce a tender and chewy bite.
My Pan-Fried Atlantic Salmon Fillet with Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Vierge ($30) was amazing. Look how pretty the dish looks! The salmon fillet was pan-fried perfectly so that there was as slight crunch as my knife cut into the salmon but the innards of the fish was smooth and delicate. The only fault I could note was that it probably could have been a bit more seasoned but you can fix that up with a sprinkle of salt. Definitely a good choice for girls considering how large the proportions are - this main will go down well as a substantial feed that won't affect your dessert appetite!
M decided to go with the Slow-cooked Beef Short Rib with Roast Eye Fillet, Mushrooms & Red Wine Sauce ($35) for his main and my god it was huge! By the time M was done (and this was with a bit of my help also), his belly was poking out. I personally loved the beef short rib because it was deliriously tender like brisket and the meat was very flavoursome. The Eye Fillet probably paled in comparison as it tasted more rough but overall a very solid main - probably for the boys or at least to share :P
Now let's get to the highlight of the night - in fact, the highlight of most nights probably - DESSERT.
Ordering the Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Mousse ($12) was probably the best decision I made that night. Topped with chocolate flakes, the mousse was velvety smooth and so decadently rich that it was purely addictive. The raspberry layer added a pop of citrus flavour into the dessert but the hero of the show was definitely the dark chocolate mousse layer. I tried my best to devour the whole dish but my stomach simply couldn't cooperate. Despite our greatest efforts, we probably only managed 2/3 of the dessert. I remember living in regret a few hours later, having wished that we had the remaining 1/3 of the dessert for takeaway or something...it was THAT good.
The Warm Sticky Date Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($12) was equally amazing. If you are a fan of caramel flavours and sweet things in general, this is the dessert for you. Warm and moist in the centre, we broke into the pudding with ease and dipped each spoonful within the pool of salted caramel sauce - hello sweet coma! The vanilla bean ice cream merged beautifully with the pudding and the combination of the cold ice cream with the hot stickiness of the sauce was simple divine.
As mentioned before, Jones The Grocer is essentially a premium gourmet food store and their offerings are beyond extensive. Whether it's organic drinks, chees, wines, cured meats, crackers or cooking oils, the market section most likely has something for you.
Overall, we enjoyed our experience at Jones The Grocer. Not only was service impeccable, but the size of the dishes really deserve a mention. You really get your money's worth as the servings are super generous and will give you more than just a substantial feed. Just make sure you take it easy so that you can fully appreciate the dessert offerings because they are simply amazing!
Although this was the first time I tried Jones The Grocer, previously I had bought their desserts from the pastry counter in front of the restaurant and they were pretty awesome as well.
Jones The Grocer is fantastic for casual dining as it is conveniently located at Westfield, so the next time you finish some well-deserved shopping, it may be worthwhile to check this place out. The ingredients used in the dishes are of high calibre and the dining ambience is very relaxed and elegant.
Thanks again for inviting us to try everything out :)
Jones The Grocer
Level 5 Westfield
Cnr Market & Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000
02 8072 7755